Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Long Weekends Don't Stop Us...

I took a long walk through the primary hallway today, spending time in each classroom. It was so exciting to see second graders investigating combining numbers in various orders. Each student was building 3 towers of 1 color each at various heights given by the teacher. Then they would write a number sentence to represent it. The teacher would then direct them to rearrange their towers and write another number sentence. They did this until they had 3 ways to solve the problems. Many of the second graders understood that no matter what order the towers were in, the answer would be the same. However, they couldn't quite put into words why it worked that way. The teacher directed them to talk with their math partners. You could tell this was a new thing, due to the fact that they were REALLY quiet. The teacher modeled for them how this should look and sound. Once this was done, the students began to have mathematical conversations. It was truly amazing to see the learning coming from just a few snap cubes and a conversation with their neighbor. This just reinforced, for me, the importance of mathematical conversations to help with the development of a concept. That's one of the things that I love most about Investigations, coupled with the training our teachers have had through Math Solutions.

The next stop that I made was to the first grade area. How amazing it is to see 6 year olds learning how to read! The teachers were spending time teaching the routines for their Reader's Workshop. The kids were excited to learn and excited to read. Even cooler than that was the conversation that I heard in the teacher's lounge during lunch. The first grade teachers were having a professional conversation around the elements of their Reader's Workshop and how things went with their students today. I love listening to these brainstorming sessions and professional reflections.

I love the learning that is happening at Sherwood! I can't wait to see how it progresses this year!

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